Clinton visit: India to discuss nuclear cooperation, Iran

New Delhi: Civil nuclear cooperation, regional security and Iran are among the key issues that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to discuss with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna during their meeting here on Tuesday.

On the last leg of her three-nation Asia tour, Clinton will reach Kolkata from Bangladesh today where she will hold talks with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, before arriving here on Monday afternoon.

During her stay in the national capital, she is expected to call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apart from holding talks with Krishna, during which they will also review progress made in their countries` strategic partnership ahead of the India-US strategic dialogue to be held in Washington on June 13.

The meeting between Clinton and Indian leaders gains significance as it comes immediately after her high-level talks in China and ahead of the crucial NATO summit in Chicago, where some important decisions are expected to be made on Afghanistan. "The entire gamut of bilateral relationship apart from all those issues which impinge on the Indo-US partnership will be discussed," an official source said here.

Both sides will discuss civil nuclear cooperation and regional security situation with New Delhi expected to brief the US Secretary on its proposed regional investors` meet here to discuss economic development of Afghanistan, sources said.

Though admitting that the US and India were not on the same page on Iran, they said both sides are expected to discuss the issue and put forth each other`s positions.

The US, which has imposed sanctions against Tehran, has been asking India to restrict its import of crude oil from Iran but New Delhi has been maintaining that it only accepts sanctions which are made by the United Nations and not unilateral sanctions.
Senior officials in the US administration have maintained that discussions over India-Bangladesh ties and trade ought to come up in the discussions between Clinton and Banerjee.

The Indo-Bangla Teesta Water Treaty, which is being opposed by the West Bengal Chief Minister, is also expected to be discussed during their meeting. The issue of FDI in multi-brand retail and other economic reforms are also expected to be discussed.

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